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Blu-ray Review: DOCTOR STRANGE
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DOCTOR STRANGE

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  115 minutes, featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reel, audio commentary, DVD, digital HD copy

VIDEO: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HD MA (BR), English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital (DVD), French 5.1 DD, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO: Marvel Studios

Theatrical RELEASE DATE (North America): 11-4-2016

Blu-ray DVD RELEASE DATE: 2-28-2017

 

STARRING Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange), Tilda Swinton (the Ancient One), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), Benedict Wong (Wong), Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams

SCREENPLAY by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, and C. Robert Cargill

DIRECTED by Scott Derrickson

DOCTOR STRANGE is one of the most enjoyable Marvel movies since GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.  It is a trippy action movie with a 1960s psychedelic like score as the characters sometime fight and race through moving M.C. Escher environments.   This movie may be one of the few 3D post conversions that may have effects that really be suited to seeing this movie in 3D.   Benedict Cumberbatch is able to portray Doctor Stephen Strange through a variety of emotions and sometime even display the proper moment of humor.  The movie is very much an origin story which does have some plot holes while also setting the stage for the mystical part of the Marvel Universe.  Director Scott Derrickson wants to introduce Nightmare in the sequel where I think Marvel’s Kevin Feige is dead set on having Mordo being featured given where the movie ended and the end credit scene reveals about the possible sequel.

 

Doctor Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is a brilliant arrogant neurosurgeon until a car accident mangles his hands.  He tries every type of surgery to get the nerves in his hands to work like they used t which leads him to, Kamar-Taj, a mystical place in Napal where he begins to train under the Ancient One (Swinton) and Mordo (Ejiofor) to learn the mystical arts (aka magic and astral protection).  Meanwhile, one of the Ancient One’s former pupils, Kaecilius (Mikkelsen), is trying to decipher a page he stole from one of the big magic tomes.  He wants to open a portal to the Dark Dimension so he and his disciples can get eternal life from the powerful Dormammu.   Strange learns quickly and he may be Earth’s only hope to stop Kaeilius and Dormammu.

 

DOCTOR STRANGE sets the stage for many things in this origin story which could have used more room to breathe, but Strange’s training seems a little too accelerated.   The climax and set up are fantastic, but they could have worked on the story that connected the two a little more.   I do have high hopes that the sequel could be better than the first DOCTOR STRANGE movie as long as Marvel Studios lets Derrickson come back as the director of the sequel and stay hands off when it comes to the script (and hopefully not try to shoehorn another Marvel storyline from another character into the sequel).  Go see DOCTOR STRANGE and hope Marvel takes more chances with their movies instead of just catering to the general mass market expectation.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Featurettes:

A STRANGE TRANSFORMATION- a fluff production piece on the journey to make the movie

STRANGE COMPANY- the cast of the movie and how director Scott Derrickson put together the movie

THE FABRIC OF REALITY- costume design, the locations, and production design of DOCTOR STRANGE

ACROSS TIME AND SPACE- the stunt choreography and special effects of the movie

THE SCORE-CERER SUPREME- composer Michael Giachino discusses the score of the movie along with a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of the score with an orchestra along with an extra bit discussing the end credits scene which they thought of late into the production of the movie (to tie into the new THOR)

 

MARVEL STUDIOS PHASE 3 EXCLUSIVE LOOK- an early look at the upcoming Marvel movies including THOR: RANGAROK, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, BLACK PANTHER, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

TEAM THOR: PART 2- a painful attempt at comedy that shows what Thor is doing with his life on Earth until the next THOR movie

 

Four deleted scenes cut for pacing reasons

A gag reel that features line flubs, laughing, and the actors having fun on the set during takes

 

Audio commentary for the movie with director Scott Derrickson

 

The movie in standard definition on DVD and a code to stream and download a digital HD version of it too

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  DOCTOR STRANGE is the right start to introduce the character even though it seems like IRON MAN with magic at times.  I hope the eventual sequel (after Doctor Strange’s appearances in the next THOR and AVEGERS movies) will explore the mythos of the characters and bad guys more. The behind-the-scenes material is a little better, but I would have loved a documentary on the history fo the character in comics.

 

This review is 3-6-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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